Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Post KBOOM! leak: Rumors Surplus Funds Depleted started by Traitor Brown

Enemies of the Revolution continue to yammer about so called funds and deficits and other money and math related stuff.   Now know this Comrades, these scurrilous rumors of "funds problems" were started by Party Traitor Marc Brown in April of this year:

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Marc Brown
Date: Sat, Apr 27, 2013 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Resignation letter
To: "S.W. Conser"
Cc: Lyn Moelich , Jeff Kipilman , Paula the Small, Hadrian Micciche , MichaelP , Lisa Loving , Matthew Bristow , Rabia Yeaman, M Brown , Lynn Fitch , ""


Pursuant to Article VI § 6 of the KBOO Foundation bylaws, I am tendering my resignation from the KBOO Foundation Board of Directors effective May 5, 2013 (see attached letter of resignation).


The actual letter:

Marc D Brown
20 SE 8th Avenue
Portland, OR 97214

S.W. Conser
President, KBOO Foundation
20 SE 8th Avenue
Portland, OR 97214

Dear S.W. Conser,
I write to inform you of my resignation from the KBOO Foundation Board of Directors effective May 5, 2013. As explained below, recent events have led me to the conclusion that a small but active minority of the KBOO membership will not allow the necessary changes to occur at KBOO. Without those changes, the KBOO Foundation will continue its slide into irrelevance and insolvency.

For the past several years, KBOO has operated in a deficit. The Foundation has used most of it surplus to continue operations. Now, that surplus is nearly depleted. Unless changes are implemented in the immediate future, KBOO will find itself without the necessary funds to continue operations. The resistance to change ignores that fact and the larger fact that the broadcasting landscape has changed in the past five years.

What is happening in radio today mirrors a similar landscape change that occurred in the natural food business 15 to 20 years ago. From the late 1960s to the early to mid-1990s, cooperative grocery stores ("food co-ops") were generally the only place to purchase natural food, organic produce, and bulk items. The 1990s saw a proliferation of commercial natural food stores (in the Portland area, Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Nature's NW, New Seasons). Faced with this new competition, some food co-ops adapted and changed to the new reality while others "stuck to their roots." For the most part, those that adapted survived while those that chose not to change did not.

Similarly, the landscape has changed in radio. For most of its existence, KBOO was the only place in Portland to hear its diverse mix of music and public affairs programming. However, with the proliferation of web streaming and services such as Pandora and Spotify, that is no longer the case. Although the resources of the KBOO Foundation are greatly depleted, it still has has time to make the changes necessary to keep it relevant.

The Board of Directors, aware of these realities, set out to revive KBOO. Working in conjunction with the staff, the board decided to dissolve the staff collective and hire an interim station manager to assess the needs of KBOO and manage the station back to balanced budgets. As part of that process, the board determined that the Foundation policies required an overhaul. Working with an attorney experienced with non-profit laws, the board overhauled and approved a new set of board policies. As part of that revision process, it was discovered that, pursuant to the old policies, KBOO was a "for cause" employer but the job descriptions created "at will" employees. To align the policies with the practices, the board changed the policies to "at will." The new policies also clarified that the board delegated the day to day operations to the executive director.

Another part of the process involved a revision of the employee policies. Those policies had never been vetted by an attorney and contained many provisions that likely violated state and federal employment law. Those policies placed the KBOO Foundation at risk. The executive director contracted with a human resources firm to help revise the employment policies. Those policies were reviewed by legal counsel.

A third part of this process involved a staffing needs assessment and new job descriptions. The goal was to create efficiencies by reassessing the staffing needs and thereby reducing expenses.
Unfortunately, certain staff members and a vocal minority of the members set out to stop those changes from happening. That was done through intimidation, the dissemination of half-truths, and the disruption of meetings. Instead of listening to the executive director and the board when an attempt was made to explain the changes including the reasons behind the changes and the larger context of those changes, that minority of members continue to disrupt the conversation.
That behavior is not new to KBOO. A pattern has developed wherein a manager determines that changes are necessary for the longterm viability of the station, the staff and a minority of the members disagree, they vilify the manager and the plans, force the manager to resign, then blame the problems on that manager. That pattern continues to this day.

Honestly, I am not going to engage in this immature, short-sighted, and close-minded behavior any longer. I have better things to do with my time. It bears noting that the KBOO Foundation is a non-profit corporation. As such, the "owner" of the Foundation is the community and not the members. See ORS 65.001(28) (defining the term "member" for purposes of the statutes governing non-profit corporations in Oregon). The Board of Directors of the KBOO Foundation, while elected by the members, has an obligation to the community as a whole. That obligation includes ensuring the longterm viability of the Foundation. That obligation also transcends the personal interests of the staff and members. Although the board should consider the interests of those parties, it should not consider those interests alone. While the staff is given the tasks of day to day operations of the radio station, the Board of Directors is given the task of overseeing the KBOO Foundation. That responsibility includes creating and implementing a strategy to ensure that the radio station and the Foundation remain viable.

 The Foundation is heading into a downward spiral. Without making fundamental changes to KBOO, the station will continue to lose relevancy and membership. As a result, the resources will continue to diminish. Without swift and significant action, KBOO will not survive. The behavior I have witnesses over the past few months has depleted any hope I once had for the longterm viability of the KBOO Foundation.

For the reasons explained above, because I see any time and energy spent on overseeing the KBOO Foundation wasted, I am resigning as a director of theKBOO Foundation effective May 5, 2013.
Very truly yours,

Marc D. Brown
KBOO Foundation Secretary.

Pay no attention to these scare mongering tactics, Comrades!   Even if it appears recent events(the failure to fire EVIL Fitch) confirm the reality Comrade Brown paints with his doomsday brush!!

Remember Cadre: it's not financial problems and corrupt nepotism that doom the Cause.  It's publicizing financial problems and corrupt nepotism  that doom the Cause!  

Just ask Comrade Loving!!!!




  1. Its all a battle over who gets possession of the corpse.

    1. "Its all a battle over who gets possession of the corpse."

      Christian Radio, here we come! Praise Jesus!

    2. Inner Party Finance DepartmentJune 26, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      Hey, when you run out of money, you just go to the bank and get more, silly!

      Besides, KBOO contributors are like cows that don't get milked enough, or something!

    3. Actually, during the days of the staff management collective, they had no clue that the management should play a big role in the development of a budget. The only staff person to do so was the Finance Director, working with the Finance Committee under the able direction of Paula Small. The budget they proposed was in line with my earlier suggestion that this should be a no deficit budget. The only exception who be to invest in hiring a professional Development Director, who should be expected to be able to cover their salary in 6 months. That was largely what the budget we adopted looked like.

      However, one staff person who should know better said that he was tired of hearing about the impending demise of KBOO. "If we run out of money," (and we are), "we can just go to the bank to get a loan." Really? Going concerns could not get bank loans at that time. No bank was going to even entertain extending a loan to a business with the financial record of KBOO -- six years of deficit spending with no viable plan to reverse it.

      The staff did ask for a larger deficit in the budget. I compared that to asking for a loan from our reserves to cover expenses once again, 7th year in a row, with no business plan in hand to justify such a loan.

      We are not a charity running a jobs program for staff, some of whom have acted without accountability for years, and whom have failed to stop the decline in listeners -- a drop by almost half over less than a decade. Any other business that lost so many customers for its product would have replaced people in key positions. Not only has that not happened, the decline in listeners and revenue has not been met by a reasonable reduction in staff. This is no way to run a business. But's a a good way to run a business into the ground.

      KBOO's tombstone will read: "At least we remained true to our radical ideology." KBOO, a station that began with the radical mission to play music by dead white men whose patrons were royalty, AKA classical music... The thing is this. KBOO does not exist to serve your ideology or my ideology. KBOO exists to serve the unserved and underserved, even if means playing reactionary hillbilly music.

      Hee ha!

    4. "The only staff person to do so was the Finance Director, working with the Finance Committee under the able direction of Paula Small."

      Make a note of Traitor Small. Competence is the Enemy of the People!

      "Going concerns could not get bank loans at that time. No bank was going to even entertain extending a loan to a business with the financial record of KBOO -- six years of deficit spending with no viable plan to reverse it."

      Has Glorious Leader been informed of this? She still seems to think getting a loan is an option.

      "This is no way to run a business. But's a a good way to run a business into the ground. "

      Cue for the die hard Iron Rice Bowl defenders to yell: It's not about business! It's about community radio! Supported by the community! And magical thinking! And faith in Our Leader!

      "KBOO's tombstone will read: "At least we remained true to our radical ideology." "

      Serious question: In your humble estimate, how long does the S.S.KBOO have to change course before hitting that iceberg labeled 'bankruptcy'?

    5. I would have to consult with the Finance Committee. I think I heard last year that the end of this financial year was the make or break time. However there has been an uptick in money we should not have, according to some -- non-membership money. For example, we just got a report that underwriting (money from businesses) had the best ever month. I don't believe there has been a change in what our underwriting staffer does, but there has been a change in the visibility of KBOO in the community, largely due to Lynn's marketing efforts. Even staff has spoken positively of her marketing work, obviously suggesting that being just the Development Director is the only right place for her at KBOO. I'm sure staff regrets selecting her to be their boss.

      Since members are king at KBOO, we have to remember that one of the biggest changes members wanted when asked during the strategic planning process was "strong management." Well, now we have it. The large body of membership would be pleased. But they are not at the barricades now, at least in large numbers, helping to support change. Lynn is a revolutionary. The self-styled radicals are the anti-revolutionary forces, fighting for the status quo.

      KBOO is the most conservative radical organization I've ever seen. Radicals are supposed to be agents of change. In that regard, we have no radicals at KBOO. We have a institution that celebrates itself without the people who are a part of it ever reflecting on the need for change in their very own institution.

  2. offline:

    The KBOO website is offline for maintenance at this time.

    If you want to stream the station live to your computer, you can still do that by choosing one of the following options:

    MP3 High Bandwidth

    MP3 Low Bandwidth

    Of course, you can always find us on the radio at:
    90.7FM Portland, 91.9FM Hood River, 100.7FM Willamette Valley

    Wonder if they're finally fixing the website?